Hyperloop firm said to be in talks with GCC wealth funds

US-based futuristic transport firm seeks to raise $300 million from investors over six months; to open subsidiary in the UAE

Hyperloop One plans to connect key locations across the Gulf region.

Hyperloop One plans to connect key locations across the Gulf region.

Futuristic transport firm Hyperloop Technologies Inc has reportedly said it is in talks with sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf.

While declining to name the countries or funds, Hyperloop One's CEO Rob Lloyd told Indian business news website Mint that it seeks to raise $300 million from investors over six months.

Hyperloop One has seen growing interest from four of the six Gulf states, Lloyd said in an interview, adding that a subsidiary company is to be established in the UAE later this year.

Last October, Hyperloop secured funding from Dubai-based DP World to study a high-speed link between the company’s Jebel Ali port and a new inland container depot, followed weeks later by an agreement to develop plans for cutting travel times between the emirate and Abu Dhabi to 12 minutes.

Lloyd said the Gulf is “potentially one of the best places” to introduce Hyperloop, envisaged by billionaire Elon Musk as a travel system in an airless tube.

Hyperloop One has built a test structure in the Nevada Desert and plans an initial public trial in the first half of this year.

The US-based firm on Tuesday put the cost of traffic congestion between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at almost $800 million in lost working hours.

“Reducing this commute to 12 minutes opens a whole new realm of options,” the company said, adding the investment in a UAE Hyperloop network will unlock economic value 3.5 to 4 times over high speed rail.

In November 2016, the Roads and Transport Authority and Hyperloop One signed a deal to explore the potential for developing a Hyperloop link with Abu Dhabi.

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